My name is Celia Yette and I am a graduate of Virginia State University where I earned a Masters of arts degree in English. After graduation I began a career as a part-time public speaker. Currently I serve as the Ombudsman for a state agency. Through my current and past employment, I have submitted articles to various publications regarding equal rights to employment as well as education. Although I enjoy my work in human services my true love is writing. Included in my profile are samples of my writing. Thank you for allowing me to share my gift with you. I am looking forward to serving you as a writer.
|EDUCATION: Masters of Arts Degree from Virginia State University||BLOG: None provided|
|CERTIFICATIONS: Investigator||CURRICULUM VITAE: None provided|
Employment Equality for Veterans
Lee is a veteran who earned many military honors while stationed overseas. After returning home, Lee was diagnosed with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) as a result of being in combat. At first, Lee was debilitated by this condition. Through the help of medication, therapy, and support from his family and friends, Lee recovered and became very independent. He was able to go back to college and earn his degree in accounting.
After graduation, Lee found employment with a privately owned business as a tax preparer. When he started at the company, Lee informed his employer about having PTSD. Due to symptoms like depression and anxiety that he often experienced with his condition, Lee was concerned that he would miss time from work. Therefore, he submitted to his employer a letter of medical necessity and a request to allow him to work from home when needed. Lee’s employer agreed to the request for reasonable accommodation.
Lee enjoyed his work, maintained good working relationships with his 25 co-workers, and seldom missed a day. One afternoon while at work, Lee felt his medications were no longer helping his symptoms. When he contacted his physician, he was advised to stay home for a few days while he tried a new medication. Lee went to his supervisor to explain the situation and asked to work from home. The supervisor was new to the company and said that he was not aware of Lee having this condition or any arrangements he had made with the previous supervisor. The supervisor denied Lee's request and ordered him back to work. At that point, Lee became frantic and told his supervisor that he was leaving. The supervisor informed Lee that if he walked off the job, he was fired..
For any veteran with a disability, understanding your rights when it comes to employment is essential. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission reports that nearly twenty-five percent of recent veterans are reporting service-connected disabilities. As many veterans make the transition back to civilian life, the search for employment begins. Therefore, it is more essential that veterans understand their rights when it comes to employment.
Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) prohibits discrimination against qualified individuals with disabilities by a state or local government or private employers who have 15 or more employees. The ADA also prohibits job discrimination when it comes to the hiring, promotion, assignment, and termination process..An employer is not allowed to ask any applicant with a disability questions pertaining to disability during the hiring process. However, the employer may ask questions regarding whether the applicant can perform the essential functions of the job. Once an individual with a disability is hired, an employer must provide reasonable accommodations to ensure equal opportunity on the job
In the scenario regarding Lee, he had followed the process and was granted reasonable accommodations of working from home. When Lee went to his new supervisor to inform that he had PTSD and to request to work from home, the supervisor could have reviewed Lee’s personnel file for verification of the agreement. Furthermore, Lee could have offered his copies of what was submitted at the time he was hired or obtained a written note from his doctor indicating the changes in medication, and the recommendation that he stay home for a few days. The obligation was on the employer to ensure that reasonable accommodations were provided to Lee.
Since neither Lee nor his supervisor took remedial steps, Lee may consider filing a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).That telephone number is 1-800-669-4000 or 1-800-669-6820 (TTY). To learn more about his rights under the ADA, Lee can visit their website at www.ada.gov.Or he can contact the Department of Justice’s Disability Rights Section at 1-800-514-0301 or 1-800-514-0383 (TTY)..
If you are a veteran and have questions or concerns about job discrimination under the ADA, you can contact the Virginia Office for Protection & Advocacy at 804-225-2042 or 1-800-552-3962 (TTY/VOICE) for more information.
Office Gossip: What to Do When the Topic Is You?
Imagine entering the employees lounge and a group of colleagues sitting at a table suddenly stop talking. While looking at you there are giggles and the group quickly disperse. What would be your initial reaction? Would you look around the room to see who else observed the spectacle? Or would you approach a member of the group to ask, “What is so funny?” Would you smile and continue your path of travel? Or would you simply walk out? What do you do when the topic of office gossip is you?
Gossip is not productive. Yet it has become commonplace in the work environment. Although the office is a place employees can share ideas and unique skills, it has also become an adult playground. What are some reasons employees partake in such “tittle-tattle” at work? One reason could be due to an employee’s desire to fit in. Instead of bringing forth an intelligent thought or a constructive idea, negative comments about a coworker is presented. Another reason may be out of an employee’s need to feel superior. When things don’t go their way at the office, an employee may use gossip as a means to vent their frustrations with colleagues and members of management. An insecure employee may also gossip to hurt a coworker which they are secretly envious or admire. Topics of gossip can vary from, “Who is the boss’ pet?” to “Who received an undeserving promotion?” Furthermore, the “New office romance”. Regardless of the topic, gossip in the workplace is unprofessional and can lower office morale. So, what is the mature way to handle being the topic of the gossip?
In my view, most gossip is not worth an employee dignifying a response. On the other hand, gossip that threatens a reputation or career, a tactful approach is necessary. First, try not to take the rumors personally. This will help alleviate any hurt or angry feelings. Secondly, once you are certain of the source, choose a place that is comfortable for you to privately make your feelings known. Thirdly, once you are at the meeting place, immediately state your purpose for wanting to meet. Inform your colleague that in order to maintain a professional relationship, you need to have this conversation. Finally, in a non-aggressive manner explain that the information being shared is either inaccurate, unsubstantiated, or was not intended for public knowledge (depending on individual circumstance). Strongly suggest to the gossiping co-worker to discontinue sharing ANY information about you in the future and kindly walk away. Make your conversation brief, but speak with firmness during your interaction. You want to be straight forward, to discourage your coworker from gossiping about you in the future.